Professor’s magic cure doesn’t hold water

A South Korean medical professor who invented a digital device he claimed could transform tap water into holy water was facing fraud charges, Seoul police said today.

They said the professor claimed to have digitally captured the supposed curative powers of holy water on devices that he sold to more than 5 000 people for a profit of nearly 1.7 billion won (R11 million).

Eight other people, including the professor’s wife and brother-in-law, faced charges for manufacturing and selling the devices, said an officer heading the investigation.

Police said the 53-year-old professor claimed he obtained holy water from the shrine to the Virgin Mary at Lourdes – a world-famous Catholic pilgrimage site in France – and preserved its supposed healing powers in digital form.

He claimed to be able to digitally transfer those powers on to ceramic and paper filters, and plastic cards used in water purifiers.

He and his associates allegedly told customers that different devices cured different illnesses, including diabetes and tumours.

The professor sold the ceramic filters, which cost 1 500 won in stores, for 40 000 won. Filters for insulin and cancer treatments sold for 90 000 won.

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